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Oblivion talk:Vahtacen's Secret/Archive 1

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This is an archive of past Oblivion talk:Vahtacen's Secret discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.

Higher Level

At level 20+ the last room has a bunch of gloom wraiths after you reveal the helm, and also a Lich right by the exit.

At Level 20 4 Nether Lich appeared upon revealing the helm. If you have already opened up the other exit (average lock) you can run to this and it is then possible to fight them one at a time, especially if you use conjuration to summon a helper such as a Storm Atrioch, e.g. it will block them off from you while it fights for you.

In the notes section it may be of help to mention this as the Nether Liches & even the Wraiths can use ranged attacks which will hit you on the pillar assuming the stairs wern't raised.

Also... I have no clue if this is related to the level or a random bug, but at level 20, I went in and fought the Liches, then raised the final cage -- no helmet. The quest arrow DID direct me to it -- it had, somehow, flown ALL the way across the room, to where one of the Nether Liches appear, near where you press the button to make the stairs appear. I can only assume that Nether Lich spells go through cages, and pack a mean punch? It was lying like it had fallen, not like it had been magically generated by the game. -- 20:24, 30 May 2009 (EDT)

Specific Spell

The only Fortify Magicka spell that affects the pillar is the Elevate Magicka scroll, which can be found in Denel's chest. Spells that say, "Fortify Magicka on Self" won't work.

How do I cast other two spells that I don't have with me which are elevate Magicka and Fortify Magicka --ShakenMike 13:35, 18 February 2007 (EST)

Look in the chest next to Denel's table. It contains scrolls with all of the spells that you need. Otherwise, you need to go buy a Fortify Magicka spell (e.g., Fortify Magicka) and then use the Spellmaking Altar to create a custom spell to turn it into a "Fortify Magicka on target" spell. It's much simpler to just use the scroll in the chest (if you lost the scroll somehow, just come back in three days and there'll be a new one in there). --Nephele 23:14, 14 February 2007 (EST)

Ok thanks for the advice.--ShakenMike 13:35, 18 February 2007 (EST)

I'm not sure who sells these spells because I used up the scrolls.I'm not sure what the right order of spells to cast to the pillar.

I did the fireball,cold damage first and I can't figure out which the other two spells. I'll check if I made a fortify spell and a damage spell.--ShakenMike 18:21, 20 February 2007 (EST)

The answers to all your questions are already in the article: just try reading the article more closely. It says exactly how to get more of the scrolls and what the correct order is to cast the spells. Or follow the links in my previous post to find out how to buy spells or make a custom spell. --Nephele 22:50, 20 February 2007 (EST)

Ok i'll look again then.--ShakenMike 03:30, 21 February 2007 (EST)

I have finished this quest but somehow I cannot make a custom Fortify Magicka spell at the spell making altar. I have a fortify magicka spell in my spell list but it wont come up in the list of effects to use in a custom spell...--Matthewest TCE 00:16, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

On another note, if you're playing with certain mods, the Sever Magicka spell might be a Drain effect instead of a damage effect, which means the pillar can't be opened with anything but the scrolls. (I think it's Oscuro's that did it to me, but it might be Superior Magicka. I'll have to test on a night I'm not tired.) --Cuilean 00:26, 13 February 2009 (EST)

hey not sure what m doing wrong..i read the article, it said, fire damage, frost damage, fortify M. and elevate M. ... it still wont fact nothing happens after ive shot a fireball..the next spell i use is your basic frost damage.. should something happen everytime ? ive been casting for 37 mins !!!! so annoying please help !!


There is a second locked door in the final room where the elven helmet is. The door is on the same side of the room as the entrance that you came in. Following this passageway will lead to 4 treasures chests/casks. Some of these casks contain leveled treasures (for me it gave ebony guantlets). Be careful as there are 3 undead monsters in the room which you can ignore and just get your treasures if you do it fast enough and then continue forward over the rocks with a jump back into the normal passageway (skips most of the traps as well)

This note was added to the article, but it seems to me like it's just describing the exit from the second zone of Vahtacen. Is this indeed just a note about the standard way out of the room? If so, is a special note about it needed? --NepheleTalk 16:46, 22 April 2007 (EDT)

So, about that pickpocket note...

I'll be the first to admit I was a bit "pickpocket happy" when I started the game. Had I known that I was stealing something that would end my Mage's career at the mere rank of Evoker, I would have kept my fingers to myself. Unfortunately, I'm playing on XB360 and can't use the very helpful information provided to fix this situation. Which leaves me with two questions:

1. Has anyone discovered a way to drop a quest item on the XB360? (Going back to an earlier save would mean hours and hours lost.)

2. Are there other items which a person might naively pickpocket only to be "punished" later by a conflict such as the one mentioned here?

Any help/advice would be much appreciated. Folly 20:50, 2 June 2007 (EDT)Folly

Finally thoroughly examined this bug, and it isn't a major problem and won't break your mage's guild questline. The best thing to do if you already have the pickpocketed book is not to go get a second one from Skaleel when Denel indicates to. Simply pick the "Ayleid Reference" topic right away and things will proceed normally. If you already have two of the books, the only thing that will go wrong is that he won't translate, which will make it appear that the quest is broken. Just cast the spells as indicated at the pillar and proceed. You'll still be able to show the Ancient Elven Helm to Skaleel and complete the quest normally.
I'm going to edit this info into the main page. Kivan 13:56, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Guardians Spawning

An anonymous user made an edit that says Skeleton Guardians will spawn at a certain point in the quest. I don't have time at the moment, but could anyone confirm that only Skeleton Guardians spawn, rather than a leveled version of a skeleton? I'm thinking that it'll end up being the latter. SubtleCynicism 22:11, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

I've reverted the edit. The paragraph already states that "when you reach the top, a number of level-dependent undead will be released." The undead are triggered simply by walking to the top of the platform, whether or not you grab the elven helm; there are no additional undead that get released when you pick up the helm. Therefore adding a second comment about these undead is misleading because it suggests that there are two separate waves of undead that spawn. Also, the undead are indeed level-dependent: they can be zombies, ghosts, skeletons, wraiths, liches, etc., all depending on your level. Whether any skeletons that appear are melee-variety or archers is completely random. So it's impossible to get much more specific than "level-dependent undead". --NepheleTalk 03:59, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

Door Bug

When you reach the first three doors opened with pressaure switches, the doors might not open. This seems to be a bug since when you save, go somewhere else and then come back to Vahtacen two doors may open while the third stays shut. As I see it, you could either run back and forth and see what happens, but the wraiths will be back every time, or you can use the console command "tcl" to unlock the ability of walking through walls. — Unsigned comment by (talk)

I am on XBox360. I got to the three doors and stepped on the pressure switch and only 2 doors opened. There does not seem to be a way to get them open. I am trying to leave and return after 3 days. Any Advice for this one, because I don't have a console on XBOX360. — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 16 January 2009
Does anyone know how to open the 3rd door on xbox 360? i have been frustrated for 2 weeks with this. Someone please help — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 7 February 2009
I can't help you there but I have the same problem and I'm on the Xbox 360, too. So,I've been looking around for the past two or three days now and found nothing.... — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 19 March 2009
I also have that problem: Though I already past the door once, I can't seem to return! (Which is needed for I had to reload a previous save!!). Is there really no solution to this problem at all?! (Anonymous)
I am also having the same problem. I'm on PS3. I don't have a previous save (FAIL) so I can't even revert. All I've found so far by googling is there no way to fix this. Can that be true? I am calling Bethesda tomorrow. 00:14, 20 July 2010 (UTC) tetsuyamasamune
Just so everyone knows, I called Bethesda about this bug, and they said they are not going to fix this, and there are no known fixes. You have to revert to a previous save or start your game over and this MIGHT fix it. 23:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC) tetsuyamasamune
Hey everyone, if you have access to a PC Oblivion game, you can transfer your save to there, use the Console Command TCL to move through the door, and complete your quest. I noticed that the stairs found shortly after the door might not work either (activated with a switch), but you can jump to it using the cages or continue the TCL to get up there. I would suggest just finishing out the quest on the PC version before reverting the save back to the Xbox 360 in case there are any other issues. If you would like links to find guides to transfer saves from Xbox 360 to PC and vice versa, you can E-Mail me at (just put something about Oblivion in the Subject so I don't delete it...). — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 14:49 on 21 July 2010

() *** Previous fix did not work. -- Is there anyway to reopen the doors? -- — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 21 december 2010

pillar problem

i cant fully openup the pillar hlp! this is what i do...

i cast the spell flare at the pillar it is ok and opens i cast the spell snowball at the pillar it is ok and opens

but what next i have cast all drain and fortify spells i have on it in every possible combo but it just totally closes! what is wrong can you give me the order in which it is done and a spell you know works best wishes the guy who cant open a pillar!

After flare and snowball you need to cast a Damage Magicka spell (not drain) and THEN a Fortify Magicka spell. This is all spelled out on the article, here. –RpehTCE 16:52, 9 April 2008 (EDT)

Mutiple Effects

What if you cast a spell or use a scroll or staff that has more than one effect on it, like the staff Apotheosis, on a pillar? Will the pillar work or will it activate the Dark Welkynd Stones? Helper Unknown 20:17, 11 July 2008 (EDT)

Good question. Turns out the answer is "both". Hitting the pillar with Apotheosis twice causes it to drop twice but on the second hit, the stones will fire. Hitting it a third time causes the pillar to reset and then drop once. –RpehTCE 02:18, 12 July 2008 (EDT)
Skaleel herself will implore you to stick to simple spells with single effects. The difficulty of successfully unlocking the pillar with combination spells suggest there's wisdom in those words. —Dark Spark 02:50, 12 July 2008 (EDT)
Just realised something. what if you use a area effect spell that`s something likè: Frost Damage 10 feet and Fire Damage 0 feet and fire it so that the spell is about 10 feet away from the pillar? 08:44, 25 October 2008 (EDT) (Helper Unknown)

the notes

you dont need the refernce text you can just cast the spells/scrolls — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 26 July 2008

No, but the text, in conjunction with another character will give you the answers. I took a hint from the scrolls in the chest, assuming some combination of them opened the pillar. I "translated" a couple of the clues, but never thought to talk to the second guy again. From the walk through it sounds dead easy if you do it that way.


help! please i really need help getting another fortify magicka spell...i used the one inthe chest realised what i done and waited 3 days, no new scrolls in the can i get another. please help!?!?!!? — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 9 October 2008

Wait a bit longer. And you need to wait outside Vahtacen. –RpehTCE 14:38, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

I am having the same problem, waiting outside didn't help. B10Reaper 23:05, 2 May 2009 (EDT)

The chest will respawn eventually. Go and do some other quests, explore Tamriel and come back at least three days later. There's no penalty for not doing the quest straight away. –RpehTCE 01:07, 1 May 2009 (EDT)

Or you could just save the game after you have taken the spells from the chest, Much quicker :) Then if you mess up, just reload! :)

I cannot seem to get the stairs to work...

I have clicked the activate button yet what I saw was NO stairs have risen then i try to click the button again it won't budge... what must i do? Someone Help...... Btw i have a ps3 anyone know how to fix this bug i need to rank up to conjurer!! -Burando Pama 08:05, 24 October 2008 (EDT)

I've never heard of such a bug. If nothing in-game works try reloding a previous save, either from before the last quest stage (ie, from before you activated the pillar) or from before the quest entirely.
Also please use the 'Show Preview' or 'Show Changes' button when editing instead of saving your page without having re-read it: all it accomplishes is to clog up the Recent Changes page. --SerCenKing 10:26, 24 October 2008 (EDT)

Well i don't have any saved file from then --Burando Pama 21:35, 24 October 2008 (EDT)

As mentioned in the article it is possible to reach the helm without activating the stairs as long as you have about apprentice or higher level in acrobatics.The-manta 07:26, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

Well I have Master Acrobatics I suppose I step on something?--Burando Pama 08:21, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

sequence of the 4 spells

Some kind person p[lease put me right here, before I need psycho treatment. I double checked the sequence given here for casting the four spells. the sequence given is fire (I got flare and it seems to work) Frost (I got Cold Touch but when I cast nothing seems to happen. I got the two damage and fortify magika spells pout the chest and nothing seems to happen when i do damage magika but when when i do fortify magika i get zapped. Is it possible that the Frost Spell, Cold Touch, is not appropriate and is not working, so the other two spells are out of sequence? Or is it something else entirely?

Jingogunner — Unsigned comment by Jackarandarainbow (talkcontribs) on 17 November 2008

If the pillar doesn't move then the spell hasn't taken effect. If you're using Cold Touch, you have to touch the pillar for it to take effect. Try that. –RpehTCE 00:44, 18 November 2008 (EST)
got cold touch working ok, thanks for that. But now, when I do sever magika (describing itself as a damage magika spell- got it from the chest next to wassisname) nothing seems to happen either, and then when I do elevate magika, also out of the chest, I get zapped. am considering casting diazepam on self. Please help
Jackaranda Rainbow — Unsigned comment by Jackarandarainbow (talkcontribs) on 18 November 2008
Sever Magicka is also a touch spell, so you need to touch the pillar. Elevate Magicka is a target one, so aiming at the pillar is enough. –RpehTCE 12:04, 18 November 2008 (EST)

But what if you can't touch the pillar? I tried to punch it, but cannot touch it normally. Im stuck at the fortify magicka and damage magicka - having the same problem as Jingogunner! — Unsigned comment by Eliksir999 (talkcontribs) on 5 March 2010

Just get as close as you can to the pillar then cast the spell at it. rpeh •TCE 10:42, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks man :) — Unsigned comment by Eliksir999 (talkcontribs) on 14 March 2010

Vahaacten's Secret Problem

moved from my talk page --GuildKnightTalk2me 09:50, 16 April 2009 (EDT)

Hello, I've been recently havning a proble with this quest, I've done everything completely right, till i came to the door which i had to open, i didn't have any lockpicks, and didn't have my level up enough for a average lock spell. After then i went out and increases my characters skills, and came back the ruins. The stone you step on that opens the 3 doors, one to go forward and the other 2 with the ghosts. For some reason when i stand on it or try to activate it now it will not open, and i dont know what to do, because i cant complete the mages guild quests. please let me know if you have any info! 02:26, 16 April 2009 (EDT)Sean

Please read the above comment aboat the 'Door Bug', there we have collected a 'club' of people with the same problem... (Anonymous)

Pickpocketing Ayleid Reference Text

(The following paragraph was moved here from the main article, where it was inserted following the note about stealing the Ayleid Reference Text.)
I don't believe the above comment is correct, but I'll leave it up. I believe you can steal the text reference from Irlav Jerol only (not Raminus), and if you do @ the start of the game like I did, you've nothing to worry about. The quest will pick up with the book again when you finally make your way down to the pillar and talk with denel.

Poorly written, first person comments do not belong on articles. --NepheleTalk 23:44, 14 June 2009 (EDT)

Glitch help

moved from Oblivion:Glitches/Proposed

I had previously made it to the large final room underneath the pillar in the Vahtacen's Secret quest, but had to leave because of lack of light. When I came back another time with torches to complete the quest, the weighted panel that activates the wall door won't activate and I think it is still stuck in, but the doors are up, also the enemies are a different type of ghost. So I cannot complete the quest because the secret doors won't open for me to go any further.

I cannot test an old saved file as i save over my old saves but there was a long gap in game time between the first and second visit to the quest location. I have left the area and returned to see if it works, I have also closed all gates previously opened to see if that would fix anything but it hasn't. I really hope theres a patch avilable or someone knows how to fix this as I would like to complete this quest to progress in the Mages Guild. — Unsigned comment by Smk360 (talkcontribs) on August 11, 2009 at 15:14

I think these panels have the same issue as the ones in Fanacus; they aren't properly reset when the cell is. Unlike the panels in Fanacas, these don't seem to have been fixed in the UOP (yet). If you're playing on the PC, selecting the pressure panel in question and typing set activated to 0 should do the trick, or even just tcl through the blockage. If you're on a console then I'm not sure there's much you can do about it I'm afraid.
(Another old question, but you never know who it'll help, eh?). --Takark 11:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I can confirm that both pressure plates and also the rising-stairs activator in Vahtacen Lorsel have the same problem. It will be fixed in the upcoming UOP; I'll edit the main page with details including console codes and remove the verification requirement tag. Kivan 17:50, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Interesting little factoid about the Ayleid text...

Weirdly enough, "Magicka sila" word-for-word means "Magicka shines" in Quenya, Tolkien's more "ancient" Elven language (though the "i" in sila would be accented). Wonder if someone remembered hearing the "elen sila" ("a star shines") in Arwen and Aragorn's song in FotR, or just knew a bit of the language, or if it was a crazy random coincidence? 19:03, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Yea, that's just coincidence. It's just a four-letter word. --Timenn-<talk> 09:15, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
It's not a coincidence. There are lots of Ayleid words and even some grammatical constructions that were copied directly from Quenya. "Aran" for "king" comes to mind.

Quest Item ID Code

What's the ID code of the artifact? (For player.additem) -- 11:29, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

It's 000150BA --Timenn-<talk> 15:56, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Chest scrolls

"Only Frost Damage is missing from the chest's scrolls."

A 'snowball' scroll is present. I presume that gives frost damage. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 19:36 on 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm fairly certain that there isn't a snowball scroll in the chest. I'd need to check the CS but I can't right now. --Mptrj - - 19:36, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Mptrj is right, the chest does not contain frost damage effect scrolls. --SerCenKing Talk 20:03, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I just checked this, since I did get a Snowball scroll: as you say, unmodified Oblivion doesn't have one in the chest, so it looks like yet another PC Only This bug is fixed by the Unofficial Oblivion Patch., which explains the conflicting reports.
I used the snowball spell I already had and it worked just fine Jude 09:19, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
You're right - I just CS checked and the UOP does add a frost scroll. I'll add it to the article. --SerCenKing Talk 14:12, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Scroll Problem

i have doing this quest for ages and i have never even got the scrolls and it wont let me make a fortify or damage spell!! can someone please help me find a good cheap one i can use!! thanks Joeoblivionjoe 19:23, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

The scrolls are in a chest right next to Denel. To get a Frost Damage spell, see this page. rpeh •TCE 11:03, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Aleyid Reference Text

Might be worth mentioning that this book can be pickpocketed back from Denel if the player gives it to him.

Pernicious Pillar Problem

I'm playing Oblivion on an XBOX 360 with a Level 12 mage character. I have a problem with the pillar that I've never had before on other characters. I follow every step just as the game tells me to:

1) Talk to Skaleel, get directed downstairs to the pillar. 2) Talk to Denel, ger directed upstairs to Skaleel for the reference book. 3) Get the book and return to Denel, get directed to the inscriptions. 4) Read each inscription, talk to Denel for the translations. 5) Get the scrolls from the chest, and cast the following sequence of scrolls: Fire, Frost, Damage Magicka

What happens, however, is that the pillar only reacts positively to the Fire and Frost. The Damage Magica scroll gets a huge shock. I've tried casting Fortify Magicka before Damage Magicka, thinking that I had misunderstood the translations... no good.

I've reloaded an earlier save and tried again, but no luck. Unfortunately I delete my old saves, so my earliest savegame is the autosave just inside Vahtacen.

Any thoughts? Is there a gaping hole in my logic? Anything? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 20:24 on 28 May 2010 you're sure you did fire frost damage and then fortify? mabye you used a scroll that has double effects?if it isn't one of those i don't know--GUM!!! 20:29, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Skaleel Missing

(moved from the article)
  • There is a bug (possibly has to do with the UOP) that Skaleel is nowhere to be found. This can be fixed using the console.
This doesn't help anyone in its current form. A bug with no known cause that happens to just one person and may be down to mods is really not worth including. rpeh •TCE 07:51, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
This has happend on xbox 360, no known cause. Looking at the quest log and clicking A to go to map, the map shows Skaleel to be right next to the entrance (inside). Where most unfortunately she is not.
If it's happened on an XBox, then the UOP wouldn't have anything to do with it. It could be something like a hole in the map that Skaleel is falling through. That's the only thing I can think of off-hand, as her schedule and the scripting that involves her couldn't get much simpler, so it's unlikely to be anything like that. Robin Hoodtalk 19:50, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Fortify Magicka

The Fortify Magicka in the chest I've used accidently and now I can't find another one. Plus, I have low Magicka skills (which sucks) so now I'm stuck at this and I don't know what to do. Does absorb Magicka work? Is there a place to find another Fortify Magicka scroll?— Unsigned comment by (talk) at 19:02 on 24 August 2010

The chest in which you find the scrolls respawns after three days. Or you could just create your own custom Fortify Magicka on target spell at the Praxographical Center. Talk Wolok gro-Barok Contributions 19:31, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Light and Darkness

Not sure if this is worth mentioning, but I found it interesting: in the Vahtacen quest script there are, what I assume to be, variables for Darkness and Light spells. It looks as if the pillar was originally intended to also require a Darkness and Light spell to be cast upon it, but this obviously wouldn't work as Darkness was removed (or rather, not fully implemented). The variables don't show up anywhere else that I've found, so it looks like these are the only remaining bits of that idea. Not exactly game-changing info, but it struck me as one of those curious little facts people like. ;)

(By the way, I apologise if I did anything wrong with this, it's my first Wiki thing ever! :O) --Takark 12:27, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Your post is perfect, so keep doing what you're doing. :) While abandoned bits of code don't usually merit posting in the article itself, they're welcome on the talk page, and this is certainly in the realm of "curious little facts people like". Thanks for posting it! Robin Hoodtalk 18:36, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Major Bug Fix

Many of the glitches with this quest are the result of a modified timescale. To fix some bugs, such as the ones with the pressure plate door, and the stairs not elevating after hitting the switch, just set the timescale back to the default of 30.

In short, to fix stuff put "set timescale to 30" in the console on the pc version. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 21:46 on January 24, 2011

It seems that could be true, as the game waits for a set period of time before activating the objects to open, or raise. If set to realistic time it would then take 30 times longer. The quest uses times set to .02 and .05, but I'm not sure what that is in real time. --DKong27 Talk Cont 03:05, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

sequence what?

I believe I have everything sequenced correctly, yet the pillar refuses to complete the opening.

Sequence as follows: One hit with the Staff of Apotheosis which does fire, frost and shock damage. The pillar moves. 2nd hit with the Staff of Apotheosis and the pillar moves more. Next use scroll of sever magicka touching the pillar. The pillar closes. Last use scroll of elevate magicka touching the pillar. Nothing further happens. Now what? — Unsigned comment by Grim2020 (talkcontribs) at 01:48 on 16 June 2011

I'm not sure if it matters, but you probably shouldn't be using a multiple effect spell (the staff) as the NPCs warn against it. --Legoless 00:57, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Removed Easter Egg Note

"Denel says "Be careful. Some things in here don't react well to magic", which is a reference to The Hunt for Red October in which Sean Connery (playing Capt. Marko Ramius) says "some things in here don't react well to bullets" as Jack Ryan goes into the reactor area of a submarine."

I've removed this note. It seems far-fetched, and this article isn't the proper place for it. --Legoless 00:57, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

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